Guest post by Chris Garrett
I have learned a lot about accessibility from Glenda. In particular you should read the excellent free advice contained in her "How POUR is Your Blog" ebook.
Learning from Glenda and other accessibility experts has taught me that some of the changes we can implement are not just the right thing to do, many are really easy and it is only laziness or ignorance on my part that has stopped me doing them.
What I think many bloggers and blog theme designers do not realise though is accessibility is not just about making your blog readable to, say, blind folks. In fact, you should also consider making your site accessible for purely selfish reasons too.
Here are 5 good reasons to make your blog more accessible:
- First, the scary reason. In many countries, accessibility is the law. OK, so maybe they are gong to go after the Fortune 500 before us little guys. I don’t know about you but I would rather make my site friendly than risk it.
- You are losing customers. There are over 50 million people in USA alone with a disability. These folks are spending money with your competitors because your site is unfriendly.
- Accessibility often means more search friendly too. Imagine Google as a blind reader. The bot can not interact with movies, play with your flash, or understand pictures, only how you describe them. Make sense?
- People are more and more likely to want to view your content on a non-standard device. Good accessibility means allowing folks to consume your content their way, from screen reader to iPhone, rather than force round pegs into your 1024×768 square holes.
- It is good design. Many site owners have found by focusing on content and ease of use rather than bloated widgets, gizmos and images, their accessible sites work faster, are easier to maintain, and provide a better overall experience for ALL their readers and customers.
Really, it just makes sense. It’s not just the right thing to do, it could make you more competitive.
Are you ready to make your site more accessible? What do you think?
Please share your thoughts in the comments …
Chris Garrett is a professional blogger and new media consultant who for nearly 20 years has written about everything from Microsoft Excel through to Travel, but this is the first time he has written about accessibility!If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.